How I freelance through the holiday season – Hacker Noon

Clients are busy

This is an unexpected plus for me that use to make it horrible for me this time of year. Especially when I freelanced full-time.

In the past, I would starve for work because my client would be on vacation or just too unresponsive to get anything worthwhile done.

Literally, the same situation people have at work that results in slow days.

The difference here is that you have more control over things.

Opposed to letting things get slow, around the start of fall I tell the client I have a retainer of 10 hours minimal to manage my bandwidth more through the holiday season. Surprisingly, I have yet to have a client be against it. From their perspective, they are having me do well over 10 hours of work a week.

This also incentives them to do one or 2 things

  • keep steady work flowing in by giving me more ownership of the work I should do or beefier tasks to keep me busy
  • keep me retained and prevent me from leaving their project resulting in them needing to replace me

Either way, it’s a win for both of us.

A side effect of getting more ownership over the project and tasks I work on, it positions me to introduce the possibility of a rate increase.

When freelancing, more ownership results in more pay. Just pitch the benefits to the client using this time frame as an experiment to justify your pitch.

For whatever it’s worth, each time I was giving more ownership to make decisions opposed to a beefier task, it always resulted in an increase in rate.

Pro-tip: Getting to know your client is essential. During this time of year, things can get more casual as everyone is winding down and taking a break. I often find myself having more casual conversations with my clients about common interests, family, etc. This helps as it strengthens the working relationship. Take this opportunity to get to know your client, it works in both you and their favor.

Pro-tip for the other pro-tip: Double down on client relationship and send an Amazon gift card based on something you spoke about during this casual time. (Sorry for the pro-tip inception!)

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